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Why does a Fisherman turn into a Pirate?


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Piracy has become a matter of concern in the past few years due to the events that took place off the coast of Somalia. Attacks have rapidly increased since 2005: pirates seem more organized than ever, able to expand their areas of control to a vast portion of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Pirate gangs are gradually evolving into highly sophisticated organizations, with a military structure and technical experts able to provide advanced technologies that can easily track foreign vessels.

Pirating is seen as a way of survival for many fishermen, whose fishing activities have been seriously damaged by the dumping of toxic waste by several European firms as well as by the ‘Ndrangheta, one of the most powerful criminal organisation in Italy. Illegal fishing from other countries has also negatively affected the local fishing industry, unable to tackle the problems due to the internal instability and lack of control from the governing body.

With the majority of the population forced to live on a daily income of $2, facing the impossibility to make money out of their prime activities, many fishermen find more lucrative solutions by joining pirate gangs. By doing so, they share their skills and knowledge of the sea with military men (who organize the structure of the gangs) and technicians (who develop new weapons), creating a very powerful combination of human resources.

Several international organizations have been called into action to find effective counter piracy solutions in an attempt to tackle the problem. These require collaborations across countries and governing bodies, resulting in a solid military presence of three international naval forces coordinated by the SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction).

This clearly represents a short term solution to the current problem, but it's quite evident that a broader operation to stop piracy is necessary. In one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita GDP of $600 per year, and with an ongoing civil war that after 20 years does not appear to cease yet, it would be essential to find more effective solutions that could create political and economic stability, offering a brighter future to a country that seems to have lost hope.


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